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One Day We’ll Tell Each Other Everything 2023 Movie Review
Great feelings immediately entered the competition at the 73rd Berlin Film Festival. From our first full day of screenings, we find ourselves faced with this passionate tale, set in a Germany still in a state of shock, just a few months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, this historical context, shamelessly nostalgic, it goes without saying, ultimately does not bring much to Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen .
Emily Atef’s film seduces more by the intensity with which it accompanies two mismatched lovers in their sticky summer romance. The treatment of the fusional love between a young adult and a silent peasant is quite heavy, granted. But thanks to the full and complete involvement of the director in this romantic cliché that we have already seen many times in the past, we sometimes got caught up in the game of forbidden sexual desires and urges.
The sentimental dilemma into which the main character plunges with appalling casualness is as old as the world. Or at least familiar enough, so that we know what mood swings to expect. Thanks to the very involved interpretation of the young Marlene Burow and the even more tormented acting of Felix Kramer – an accomplished actor who we had already met on screen during a previous visit to Berlin, in Lands of Murders by Christian Alvart –, the inseparable couple navigates with a certain ease through the various vicissitudes that the scenario has in store for them. What has to happen will happen, of course. But despite the constant overloading of the romantic boat, the narrative continues to float suitably through its dramatic twists.
In short, we still do not have our first favorite of the festival there. But as a half-sulphurous, half-corny entertainment, the director’s sixth feature film does not deserve it.
Synopsis: In 1990, Maria spends the summer on a family farm, near her native village in East Germany. While she should revise for her baccalaureate and help the mother with her household chores, the young woman prefers to read “The Brothers Karamazov” and make love with Johannes, the eldest son who has vague artistic aspirations. At the same time, Maria feels drawn to Henner, the neighboring horse breeder, twice her age and generally unsociable. Against all odds, she begins a sometimes visceral relationship with him, while trying to keep this forbidden love a secret.
Only in the cinema, all it takes is a smoldering gaze and a furtive touch for passions to be unleashed without delay. In this, this German film obediently perpetuates the myth of the explosive thunderbolt, too powerful not to lose one’s mind and abandon oneself to it without the slightest restraint. However, between the cliché and its credible filmic transposition, there can be a considerable gap. Fortunately, Emily Atef has taken an undoubtedly effective frontal approach to reporting on this somewhat sadistic game of seduction.
Bodies shudder and cries echo, to adequately reflect a carnal pleasure incommensurate with the wiser sex that Maria can have when she wishes with the good guy Johannes. In short, nothing new under the sun of a certain erotic cinema, legitimized here by the literary stamp of the novel of the same name, published in Germany in 2011 and remained a priori without translation in France.
Where the relationship between Maria and Henner goes off the beaten path is on the side of a rather interesting emotional fragility. While the rather sharp literary tastes of the two lovers fall under the somewhat snobbish argument in order to set them apart from the rednecks of the countryside, above all eager to catch up materialistically with their newly accessible neighbors in West Germany, their mutual commitment follows an already less predictable curve.
While the word love is whispered sparingly and by one, and by the other, it is in an irregular back and forth between the taking of distance and a premature reunion that their relationship reaches a fragile balance. All this story must of course end tragically, we teach you nothing, if you are even slightly familiar with the inevitable springs of romantic melodrama. But before this conclusion with excessive accents, the dynamic of more or less libidinous feelings is not without piquancy.
It may not bring anything essential to the love story, the discrepancy between the lifestyle of the characters from the GDR and that perceived by them as an ultimate goal to be achieved on the other side of the old border Nor is it completely devoid of interest. Rare are those who do not escape there, either to do their shopping or to reconnect with family members who have been lost for too long.
This slow abandonment of the archaic values of the East, symbolized by the unifying song, sung first by Maria, then by the whole table, with the exception of the guests from the West, completely foreign to such collective fervor, it is powered by all sorts of gadgets of questionable utility. Between the instant whipped cream and Maria’s grandmother’s new sofa on the one hand, and the camera adored by Johannes on the other, there are plenty of opportunities to drive home the point about the loss of what used to be the soul of the village.
Nevertheless, this coloring from another time never quite manages to make the connection with the dramatic heart of the plot. Could Maria and Henner have loved each other more peacefully at another time in German history? Nothing is less sure. Especially since this upheaval in lifestyle induced by the forthcoming advent of reunification discreetly intrudes at best in their discussions: at the turn of the evocation of the abuses of the Russian occupier on the mother of Henner, before she takes refuge in the countryside. It’s little more than an abstract reference to the past, while most of the other characters have their eyes firmly fixed on the future, full of apprehensions and legitimate uncertainties.
The cinema as a substitute for love in real life works at full speed in Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen . Emily Atef does not reinvent the genre of impulsive lovemaking, condemned in advance. Thanks to the two main actors ready to give themselves body and soul to the camera, the director nevertheless manages to breathe a welcome intensity into her story, which could also easily have fallen into a voyeuristic vulgarity with the worst effect!